What is error 0x800704f1

Error code 0x800704f1 on Windows 11 is specifically related to the Windows Update service. When you encounter this error, it means that there is a problem with downloading or installing updates on your system. This error can occur on various versions of Windows, including Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. The error code 0x800704f1 is often caused by issues with the Windows Update components or their configuration. Here are some common causes of this error:

error code 0x800704f1

  • Corrupted Windows Update components: Over time, the Windows Update components on your system may become corrupted or damaged. This can happen due to various reasons, including incomplete updates, malware infections, or software conflicts.
  • Network connectivity issues: If your internet connection is unstable or experiencing interruptions, it can prevent Windows from downloading updates successfully. The error code 0x800704f1 can occur if the network connection is weak or if there are problems with the network configuration.
  • Third-party software interference: Some third-party software, such as antivirus programs or firewalls, can interfere with the Windows Update process. These programs may block certain files or services required for updates, resulting in the error.
  • Incompatible or outdated drivers: Outdated or incompatible device drivers can cause conflicts with Windows Update. When the system tries to install updates that require specific drivers, it can result in error code 0x800704f1.
  • System file corruption: If important system files are corrupted or missing, it can affect the functioning of Windows Update. Corrupted system files can occur due to various reasons, such as improper shutdowns, malware infections, or hardware issues.

Download Windows Repair Tool

Download Windows Repair Tool

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There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair Pro to fix the “Windows Update error 0x800704f1” in Windows 11 or Windows 10.

1. Use Windows Update Troubleshooter

In-built Windows Troubleshooter features can sometimes be enough to resolve update-related issues. We advise you to kickstart your troubleshooting attempts exactly with this in-built tool. We will use it to detect update issues and hopefully fix them if that will be possible. Here is what you should do:

  1. Open Settings from the bottom taskbar.
  2. Choose System on the left and go to Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters on the right pane.
  3. Then, find Windows Update and click Run next to it.
  4. Finish the process following the on-screen instructions and restart your PC.

After this, try to perform the update again. If this does not work, get down to try other solutions.

2. Disable third-party antivirus

As was mentioned in the introduction part, third-party anti-malware software can sometimes cause incompatibility issues and interfere with certain system processes (like updating). This is why it is recommended to try disabling your antivirus and see if it removes the problem. If turning off the antivirus gets the job done, then the culprit is found and you can turn it back on after successfully updating.

3. Run a Clean Bootup

Sometimes it may be hard to identify what exact third-party software causes the issue. Those who are unsure what program could be the culprit can enter Clean Boot mode. This mode allows users to load their system only with in-built services and applications in order to prevent incompatibility issues. As a result, this will let you know whether the issue actually related to third-party software or not. If you already suspect some third-party application (other than your antivirus), maybe the one you recently installed, to be part of the issue, try to disable or remove it completely. Otherwise, follow the steps to enter Clean Boot mode:

  1. Press Windows key + R combination and paste msconfig.
  2. Then in the opened window, go to the Services tab located on top.
  3. Check the box next to Hide All Microsoft Services and click on the Disable all button.
  4. Now choose the General tab and select the Selective startup option. Make sure that Load System Services and Load startup items are two only options selected.
  5. Click Apply and OK. Then reboot your PC.

Now you can try to update your system whilst being in Clean Boot mode. No matter whether you managed or failed to succeed in what you wanted, you should turn Windows back to Normal Startup settings. To do this, simply redo all the steps you implemented above by enabling the disabled services and changing your startup option from Selective to Normal.

4. Check integrity of the system files

Corruptions within the Windows file system is one of the leading causes of update errors like 0x800704f1. Therefore, we advise you to check and restore missing or damaged components using SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scanning utilities. Make sure to use both utilities as they may have a different impact on solving the problem. Here are the steps to take:

Using SFC

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching loop next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Once the console is opened, type the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
  4. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

Using DISM

  1. Open Command Prompt as we did in the previous step.
  2. Copy and paste this command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
  3. Click Enter and wait until Windows ends the scanning and fixing.
  4. Once done, restart your PC.

Once both of these scans are performed, attempt to install or search for the same update again.

5. Clean up unnecessary system files

Clearing redundant system files may help as well. Sometimes cleaning the local disk from recovery copies and cached files can lead to a successful resolution of the problem. Note that deleting recovery copies means you will be no longer able to use restore points of previous versions to roll back to, in case you suddenly need them. Despite this, using such a method helped some users get rid of the problem.

  1. Open This PC from your desktop.
  2. Right-click on your main disk and choose Properties.
  3. Find and click on Disk Cleanup.
  4. Then select Clean up system files, check all the boxes, and click OK.
  5. Once done, restart your PC and check if something has changed.

6. Restart the Windows Update service

If the problem is in update-related services, then simply restarting the Windows Update service can fix the update issue and let you get into flawless updating. You can make sure the Windows Update service is working the right way using the steps down below:

  1. Press Windows key + R buttons together and copy-paste services.msc. Press OK or Enter to open.
  2. Find Windows Update on the list, right-click on it, and choose Properties.
  3. In the General tab, make sure Startup type is set to Automatic.
  4. Once done, click Apply and Start afterwards.
  5. After this, check if this resolved the issue.

7. Reset Windows Update components

A more advanced and effective alternative to the above is restarting all update-related services and resetting Windows components in one go. The whole procedure consists of restarting BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer, and Windows Update services as well as renaming some update folders (SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2). These folders contain temporary files necessary for implementing Windows Updates. Based on this, we will force Windows to delete corrupted elements and create update-related components from scratch. All we need for this is simply a Command Prompt console – the one we already used before. Although the entire procedure may seem advanced and complicated, it will not require too much of your time and knowledge. Just follow the instructions listed below:

Using manual steps

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Copy-paste this list of commands one by one clicking Enter after each. (This action will disable services responsible for Windows Updates)
  4. net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver

  5. Then, we have to rename the above-mentioned folders. Simply paste these commands by clicking Enter after each.
  6. ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

  7. Finally, all left to do is to turn the disabled services back. So apply these commands likewise we did previously.
  8. net start wuauserv
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver

  9. Now we are all done with it. Go to the Windows Update center and try to perform the update process again.

8. Scan for malware

If you tried all the aforementioned solutions but nothing has worked out up until this moment, then the reason for the 0x800704f1 error could lurk in malware. Malicious or unwanted programs are known to cause various damage or configuration clutter inside the system. This is why it is worth running a thorough scan to make sure it is not the actual case. You can use the default Windows Defender or try to install a more advanced antivirus developed by Malwarebytes – a trusted and talented group of experts constantly updating their software to fight off both local and global threats. You can download it now using the link below and get a 14-day trial of the ultimate antimalware experience completely for free. It is available for Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, and 7.

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9. Download a conflicting update from Microsoft Catalog

In case you are unable to install some specific update despite trying all the methods above, you can also download and install it manually from Microsoft Catalog. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings from the bottom taskbar.
  2. Then go to Windows Update on the left pane.
  3. On the right side of the window, choose Update history.
  4. After this, find and note the most recent update (usually starts with “KB” and is on top of the list).
  5. You can also find this out by noting the name of the failing update (in case it displays).
  6. Once done, search and download the noted update from the Microsoft Update Catalog.

10. Use Media Creation Tool

If no solutions help and you are still desperate to see 0x800704f1 on your screen, then our last suggestion comes down to using Media Creation Tool. This is an official Microsoft tool allowing to not only reinstall Windows but also to retrieve the newest updates available. Check the steps below to download and use it for updating your system.

  1. At first, you have to download the utility from the Microsoft website.
  2. Then, execute the downloaded file.
  3. After agreeing with the Terms of use, there will be two options to choose from. Select Upgrade this PC now.
  4. Choose to Keep Personal Files to ensure they will be untouched.
  5. Finally, launch the process and wait until it ends.
  6. Hopefully, this method helped you combat the 0x800704f1 error.

Summary

We hope these 10 solutions were more than enough to get things done with the 0x800704f1 error. Such error codes have a lot in common with other issues and tend to touch Windows users quite often. Luckily, there are quite simple ways to fix them. If you have any other solution(s) that helped you resolve this issue, feel free to write it in the comments below. Maybe it will be useful for others as well.

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